It’s been an interesting December so far, from bitter cold to the warm breeze of a Pineapple Express. The result is a disappointing lack of snow but unusually good access to the upper reaches of the Icicle Canyon. I went on a stroll yesterday with a couple friends around the Icicle Gorge Trail and had a good time getting some photos of the unique conditions. While the skiing might be less than perfect we still live in a beautiful area, might as well get out there and appreciate it!
I’m very psyched to present a short film about a rad new line that my good friend Jens Holsten put together after years of work. Mainsail follows a proud arete on the Helm Crag in the beautiful Icicle Canyon of Leavenworth. Big thanks to Mountain Equipment, Tendon Ropes and Leavenworth Mountain Sports.
Check out a short edit of some night time bouldering shenanigans down at the Hueco Crimper Boulder.
I spent a few days last week adventure bouldering with some friends up the Rat Creek drainage, one of the Icicle’s massive troughs that lead to the high country. Rob Lewis spent the entire week working on a trail and developing some amazing problems.
Discovered by Scott Mitchell several years ago this idyllic retreat is just a stone’s throw from Clamshell Cave and has a handful of pretty classic easy and moderate problems as well as some lurking potential for gnar.
A few weeks ago Kelly Sheridan and Johnny Goicochea cleaned and established a couple of roadside gems near Icicle Buttress.
Once again Ecochlor has enabled me to see a bit more of the world. This time I was sent to Israel for a seminar given by FilterSafe, our filter partner. After a few days of education we embarked on a tour by bus to a few of the countries more ancient cities. The first of these was Acre (Akko in Arabic). Situated on Haifa bay in Northern Israel, it is reputedly one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in Western Galilee.
On the way back to Tel Aviv we made some historically significant stops, first to Capernaum, or more accurately, the ruins of a place once called that where several apostles and possibly even Jesus lived for a time. We also visited the River Jordan at a site where pilgrims from around the world come to be baptized.
The next day we travelled to Jerusalem, a city full of history as well as thousands of other tourists. We visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a variety of ancient markets and the infamous Western Wall. I enjoyed an underground tour of the latter, weaving through layers of previous incarnations of the city.
One more night in Tel Aviv and I was off to France for a month of pure sandstone bliss, fodder for an upcoming blog post.
Much like Japan, Israel is a country I would probably never have visited on my own but that I was happy to experience without a lot of expectations. It’s also a country that many westerners perceive as dangerous, several friends voiced some concern. In reality though, like many other places with that stigma, Israel is relatively safe. There are some places within the country, I’m sure, where one should probably not go, but overall you’re not in much more danger than you would be anywhere else.
I hope that future work opportunities will find me back in Israel for more exploration, I saw quite a bit of promising limestone…